The Instructions for Change

daisy Mental Health: 1st Step

Many times I have pretended to believe silly things just to justify my choices. The reality is that even if I tell myself that “calories don’t count if no one sees you eat them”, the facts remain the same… they do. Working towards mental health is a critical piece of a healthy lifestyle that many people disregard completely. Challenging negative self-talk and recognizing distorted thinking are worth the effort as they reap priceless benefits including self-acceptance and confidence. As you practice eliminating extreme thinking and focusing on reality you will find that when hard times come you can not only withstand the trial but come out stronger on the other side!

If you are interested in changing a habit, reaching a goal, or creating the life you really want, you must embrace a healthy mental status. If you could poll professional athletes, concert musicians, Navy Seals, or whoever you look at and respect their determined discipline, I bet they would agree that winning the mental game is 2/3 of the way to the goal.

“Thinking, eating, exercise, in that order” Bob Harper                                                                                                                                                                                    

Emotional Health: BFF to Mental Health

I have struggled off and on with depression for most of my adult life. It runs in my family and I have come to accept it as just part of my bundle of genes. This acceptance does not mean that I accept the symptoms or allow myself to have a victim mind-set; it simply means I stop being frustrated by what is true for me. This practice, of accepting what is real, has come into play in many areas of my life. As I’ve gotten better at it I enjoy the benefit of freeing up emotional energy that is no longer spent feeling sorry for myself or wishing I was someone else. I then can focus on how I can adjust my behaviors and thinking to make my life the best it can be. Maintaining emotional health for me means staying on my antidepressant medication, staying in close and open communication with my husband, kids, and immediate family, applying healthy instead of self-destructive coping skills in stressful situations (working out and running are huge for me!), having fun and laughing as much as possible, and maintaining daily, quiet, personal time with God.

Keeping emotions in check can take a lot of work initially, but I’ve found that with practice I am much better at thinking and making choices based on facts instead of feelings. For example I can reason through my craving for simple carbs when I’m overtired and feeling down and decide to take a nap instead of indulging in a couple of doughnuts. Emotions are wonderful and I love that I’m an emotional person; I have just learned that I can dictate the control they have on my decisions and it helps so much with making healthy choices.

healthy lifestyle pic Physical Health

The eating and exercise portion of a healthy lifestyle are often the focus, but I believe that the mental and emotional pieces are just as important…it has to be the whole package for lasting change! The best place to start with pursuing physical health is to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Ensuring that you are being realistic is key for this step! Begin with small steps towards your goals understanding that what took years to develop is not going to go away in a matter of weeks or even months. Simple goals to begin with: drink more water, add more vegetables to your diet, get active for 30 minutes a day most days. Maybe you can’t run a mile, no worries, just start moving and build slowly and before you know it you will amaze yourself. Don’t wait to feel proud of yourself until you reach your goal, feel proud for starting and taking the steps to get there one day at a time.


If you are wondering where to start or feeling overwhelmed with all you want to change to have the lifestyle you really want, here are step by step instructions for success!

  1. Breathe.  Stop and get your mind focused on realistic goals for this day.
  2. Choose one place to begin your journey and start today. It is too much to start with a personal trainer, change your diet, and stop smoking all this week…be patient with yourself.
  3. Then follow through. Take one day at a time and as you meet your goal each day you will build trust in yourself to set new goals.
  4. Be accountable somewhere.  Maybe your spouse, maybe your BFF, maybe a group…find what works for you and reach out.  Lasting changes take time and we all need support.
  5. Avoid fads, extremes, or high-dollar solutions for change.  These types of choices breed short-term fixes, discouragement, and often create new issues.

This may not be what you hoped to see.  This is the “crock-pot” method and maybe you were looking for a “microwave” solution.  That is your first place to start then!  Understand that change takes time and placing unrealistic expectations on yourself will just push you further into the ditch with your wheels spinning.





Contact me at if you want further information about mentoring and coaching available.






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